Children’s Centres Consultation 

Building a new service for Cambridgeshire Communities

Cambridgeshire is a richly diverse county. We know our communities have different wants and needs. In this consultation we have focused on each of our five districts individually, and created proposals for each district based on information we have gathered from a number of areas.  

Full consultation document

Cambridgeshire Children's Centres 17 July 2017

Size: 1.31 MB File format: pdf

The consultation will run until Friday 22 September 2017. 

Summary and FAQs 

Please view the key information and data briefing below. We have also put together some frequently asked questions that will be updated throughout the consultation.

  • We want every child in Cambridgeshire to thrive, therefore our proposed redesign of Children's Centres will focus on providing a range of flexible services, targeted towards families when they really need them
  • We don’t want people to be limited by buildings. We want them to be able to access services when they really need them, as easily as possible, where they live, and at a time that is convenient
  • Children Centre Services need to save £1 million during 2018/19. We aim to do this by working in a more integrated way with partners and making better use of our resources. 
  • We want to move toward a new ‘Child and Family Centre Offer’, which will support vulnerable families with children from expectant mothers, to babies and toddlers, right through to young adults.
  • You have told us that being able to access support from health colleagues like midwives, health visitors and speech therapists from Children’s Centres has been a good thing.

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Cambridgeshire’s first Children’s Centre opened in 2005 with the aim of helping families in more deprived areas to give their children the best start in life. There has been significant growth and change in the level of provision over the past 12 years

At the present time there are 38 designated Children’s Centres across the County delivered by a combination of the County Council, schools and voluntary organisations. The contracts for externally delivered Children’s Centres conclude in April 2018 and the County Council is looking at how to ensure that the money spent has the greatest positive impact on young children’s development before re-tendering contracts. 

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Children’s Centre services are already delivered from other community buildings to provide easier access for families. The enhanced partnerships with midwifery, health visiting, childcare providers and schools will allow us to deliver effective support to those families that most need it where they are able to access it.

We know there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for Cambridgeshire. We want to work with local communities to agree how services can be delivered across the 5 districts of Cambridgeshire. 

The consultation document is structured into Districts in order to highlight the proposals at a local level. 

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We will offer services in the following 4 ways:

1. Child and Family Centres

We will create 10 Child and Family Centres at the heart of our communities, for families with children of all ages. These are proposed to be in our areas of highest need and population and designed to meet the following eight Family Friendly Criteria.

  • Flexible access across the day week and year
  • Activity Rooms
  • Confidential Spaces
  • Staffed reception
  • Maximised Use
  • Safe and Secure
  • Accessible for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
  • Work space for staff and partners
2. Child and Family Zones

We will continue to deliver a range of activities and interventions from other locations. We propose up to 12 Child and Family zones. These will be places where services will be delivered either from some of our existing centres or other suitable buildings such as community centres, libraries, health centres etc.

3. Outreach Programme

We know that in a county with a significant rural population it is essential that we have a flexible and responsive outreach service offer. These will include weekly sessions in community venues, a scheduled programme of courses including parenting programmes delivered across the district, and responsive support to meet local needs as they arise.

4. Online Offer

We know that lots of families want to be able to help themselves and simply need support in knowing what is available and where. We will develop a comprehensive online offer, providing information and advice that guides and supports families in accessing good quality help in and across their area.

We will look to change the use or re-designate some of the remaining children’s centre buildings, to provide additional early years provision.

Increases in free early education for vulnerable two, three and four year olds means that the Council needs to look at how to create more childcare place provision as part of its early years strategy. There is an opportunity to consider this alongside delivery of children’s services.

Some Children’s Centre services in your community may no longer be delivered from the same buildings that they currently are, especially if you live in less deprived areas. However you will have access to a range of Centres in other locations and other Government funded programmes such as free childcare, health services, and outreach services will be available to individual families in greatest need.

View full consultation document

Children's Centres Data Briefing

Research and population / needs data

Size: 2.52 MB File format: pdf

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